Monday, November 16, 2015

Trout Tails - November 16, 2015

Seems like we pick the worst times to head to Erie/NY to chase steel.  Last year it was the blizzard of the century, this year, it was high winds, hail, and rain.  Thursday wasn't too bad, and we caught a couple nice browns, but rain overnight and on Friday, blew out all the creeks on both sides of the border.  By Saturday afternoon, they started coming back into shape a little, but fishing was still pretty slow.  We managed a few fish each day, but it wasn't much to write home about.  You know the fishing is bad, when you have the place pretty much to yourself.  We did catch some fish, but most of the steelhead we caught were on the small side, and the one nice one I had on, threw the hook in about 2 seconds.  There were some pretty impressive waves on the lake, and I saw some guy fishing what has to be the largest rod/reel combo I have ever seen used for steelhead on a 20 foot wide creek! 

Until next year I guess.  Now its time to gear up for South America! 

Fish of the trip


The photo doesn't do it justice, the reel is the size of a softball

Think this might have been the same fish from the first day, caught 3 days later.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Trout Tails - September 20, 2015

This year's Yellowstone trip was definitely a little odd/different than years past.  It started early, the first 5 minutes on the water, we had a 300lb black bear run right in front of us on the other side of the stream.  Seemed odd to me that he was running, but figured maybe he saw or winded us, even though he didn't seem to be paying any attention to what we were doing.  A few hundred yards upstream, we came across an elk carcass, and got out of the area.  The next day when we were talking to the ranger, we found out there has been a black and grizzly in the area.  I suspect I know what made him run.  So that section of stream was done for the beginning of the week. 

We have been doing this trip for years, and have always lucked out on the weather, until this year.  While we have had some snow and the random thunderstorm, we rarely encounter much rain in September.  The first three days were in the 80's and sunny, but by Tuesday, the rain had arrived with a vengeance, dropping the daily highs to the low 40's, and low 30's with snow at elevation.  With the low water and wild fires in the area though, the rain was much needed, and it was hard to be too upset about it. Fishing in the 30s-40s in the rain all day, really makes you question your sanity sometimes.   It also makes you question why you carry 20lbs of camera gear around all day, when you probably won't be able to take it out without destroying it. 

We had some pretty decent hopper and dry fishing early in the week.  The rain pretty much killed that, and blew out the NE corner of the park, making us seek other options.  Sometimes what looks like a curse, is really a blessing in disguise.  We spent a lot of time on water that we usually don't fish, or only hit for a day.  With the rain and clouds, it was the perfect time to work the banks with streamers.  While we didn't catch fish by the dozens, the ones we did catch were all good size.  The cloudy weather also had the olives coming off sporadically, which made for some great fishing in 30 minute clips between rain storms. 

In the end, it was another great trip, despite, or because of, the weather.  I did manage to get the camera out for a few photos, hope you enjoy.  Already looking forward to next year's trip!
The catch of the trip
The release

Cutty came along for the ride
Love this town

They pretty much killed our chances on 3 of our favorite holes on the Lamar, but it was worth it. 

Ever feel like you are being watched?

There was actually a deep hole in there

Some olive action

Not as big as the day before, but it will work

What was left of the snow on Friday. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Trout Tails - July 13, 2015

It has been a weird summer here in the northeast, and I'm not just talking about the weather (more on that later).  Our spring was pretty dry, but summer has consisted of strong thunderstorms dumping inches of rain at a clip.  It seems like just about the time the rivers get into shape, boom, flood stage.  That being said, we have been able to float some streams that normally this time of year are out of the question, and the brook trout streams have been fishing awesome. 

Now to the other weird part....lets talk fishing etiquette, or lack of.  I'm the type that doesn't even like to see someone else when I'm fishing.  Sometimes this isn't possible, especially on some of the more popular rivers, but you can usually keep enough space to be comfortable and respectful of other anglers.  Unfortunately, not everyone abides by this, especially in Pennsylvania.  In the last week however, some of my faith has been restored.  Maybe it is because at this point in the season, only the serious guys seem to be out, and they tend to have a little more etiquette, as they would expect you to do the same for them.

Last week my dad and I were on a freestoner in the northcentral part of the state.  Most of the spring creeks were blown due to rain, so we decided to disappear into the mountains where we knew the water, despite being up, would be clear.  We had plans to fish the main stream for an hour or two for browns, then head up one of the tribs to chase some brookies.  We no sooner pull in, and a guy pulls up next to us.  I couldn't freaking believe it.  I was thinking, here we go, but we are going to disappear up the trib soon that almost no one fishes, so I can deal with it for an hour or two. 

I roll my window down and he asks, "you fishing here or one of the tribs".  Well, just him asking that, I knew he was going exactly where I wanted to go later.  I told him our plans for the day, and was shocked at his response.  He told us he was also going up the same trib we were later, but he would only fish up to the "second cabin" and leave the rest for us.  I couldn't believe it!  About two hours later, I see his truck go down the road, so we headed back to the vehicle to take our turn on the trib.  On my windshield is a note detailing how far up he fished, that they were eating anything that floats (typical for brookies), and to enjoy.  Eric, you have restored my faith!  If by some miracle you read this, thank you!  My dad had a blast catching some nice brookies on the zero weight!

Then this weekend, I went back up to explore some more.  Again, pull in, guy pulls in right next to me.  But he proceeds to ask where I am fishing, and says he will fish the big water if I'm going up the trib.  After talking to him for a few minutes, I find out he primarily fishes dries, but doesn't do any tying.  So I handed him a few flies, and we went our separate ways.  Again, another great day on the water.  Just wish I had run into him at the end of the day to see how he did, but he was gone by the time I reemerged from the canyon.  So thanks to the two guys I didn't want to see, but glad I did.

Below are some photos from the last week of floating for smallmouth and chasing brookies. 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Trout Tails - June 18, 2015

Been a while since I've put anything up.  It has been a weird spring.  Once the weather finally broke, we have been suffering from low water or muddy water from thunderstorms.  Despite that, the fishing has been pretty good, with some of the best hatches I've seen in a long time.  I have been spending a lot of time on the water fishing and guiding, which is why I haven't had much time to get much up here.  I even had the honor of guiding the President and CEO of Straub Brewing and his family a few weeks ago on Big Pine.  If you never had the pleasure of meeting Bill Brock, he is an avid fly fisher and just a great guy.  Straub is also the main sponsor of the Slate Run Brown Trout Club that stocks some monster browns in Big Pine...the beer is really good too ;)  Be sure to support the local businesses, especially those that give back to us!

Last week my TU Chapter (Doc Fritchey TU) held its annual Home Waters event.  As always, it was a great time, and we had about 20 Vets who caught a pile of fish.  Below are some photos from the last couple months.  I hope to get some more stuff up here soon, and as always, September and Yellowstone are right around the corner!